Showcasing Super Character

 DGE super characterDeauville Gardens East Elementary School Principal Joe Buccello (right), school counselor Lysa Mullady (left) with the super kids with super character for the month of September.

As part of its character education program, Deauville Gardens East Elementary School in the Copiague School District recognized students that displayed the character trait of kindness during the month of September.

Each month, the school celebrates a different character trait that reinforces good behavior such as responsibility, honesty, good judgment and respect. Teachers are provided with a monthly pledge to use in their classroom to help the students learn about that character trait. The winning students receive an award certificate, a prize and have their picture displayed on the bulletin board.

Following this year’s theme of “Super Kids with Super Character,” the winning students of September, school counselor Lysa Mullady and Principal Joe Buccello wore superhero apparel and the character trait’s designated color for the bulletin board photo.


Music with a Message

 SEW Hip Pickles2Students at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School learned an important message against bullying during a school assembly led by the “Hip Pickles” music group.

Through the power of music, students at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School in the Copiague School District learned an important message about anti-bullying during a special assembly by the “Hip Pickles” music group.

Sponsored by the SEW PTA, the “Hip Pickles” performers used catchy songs and student participation to send an age-appropriate message against bullying. During the presentation, students were educated about how bullying can manifest itself through hurtful words, exclusion, cyber bullying and starting rumors.

To enlighten students from a perspective of personal feelings, students were asked to reflect on how they would feel to be mistreated and the way they feel when someone treats them nice. To conclude, the “Hip Pickles” performers motivated students to participate in making their school a bully-free zone.



Copiague Board of Education Adopts Capital Project Bond Resolution

The Copiague School District Board of Education adopted a capital project bond referendum, which, if approved by voters on Nov. 23, 2015, will enable the district to make major repairs and renovations districtwide.

It is important to note that of the 95 percent of the scope of work eligible for New York State Building Aid, the district will receive 75.2 percent in state aid. Essentially, community residents will be asked to pay for 24.8 percent of the cost, greatly reducing the cost to taxpayers. Only by proposing a bond referendum will the district be able to take advantage of the New York State Building Aid to fund the majority of the scope of work.

For the past several months, the Board of Education listened to the opinions and concerns of community residents, carefully analyzed the spacing issues and infrastructure needs of each school with the district’s architect, and explored all financial options currently available to further reduce the cost to taxpayers.

The district’s schools were never designed to accommodate the current enrollment. The district’s oldest school is nearly a century old, while the newest school was built approximately 50 years ago. Additional instructional classrooms and support service space are needed. Students are learning in overcrowded classrooms and in rooms that were originally designed to be storage rooms. Music lessons are taking place in unused bathrooms or on the stage during lunch periods. Science labs are overcrowded, and outdated equipment must be replaced to meet the needs of today’s more rigorous science, technology, engineering and math curriculum. Music rooms must be expanded and additional bathrooms must be ADA-compliant.

Ceilings, flooring, lighting and windows that no longer allow light into the classrooms must be replaced as needed districtwide. Just like in a home, upgrades must be made to the electrical, plumbing and heating systems that are functioning ineffectively and in some cases have outlived their anticipated life expectancy and are no longer cost-efficient to operate. Athletic fields must be repaired and renovated. Safety and security upgrades are also needed.

While facilities maintenance has been included in the annual budget, the scope of work proposed in the bond is too large to include without impacting programs and significantly increasing taxes. In order for the community to have a greater voice in the decision-making process, the Board unanimously decided to present two propositions for consideration.


Proposition 1: For a net cost to taxpayers of approximately $12,270,383, the district will be able to implement $42,963,526 worth of repairs and renovations to our district schools. If community residents approve Proposition 1, the cost for the average household will be approximately $131.76 per year, or approximately 36¢ per day. Proposition 1 includes additional classrooms and support service areas; districtwide repairs and renovations, including masonry work, ceilings, bathroom renovations, and plumbing and electrical upgrades; replacement of the currently damaged high school athletic turf field; and track and tennis courts renovations. Science labs upgrades, additional music and art space, expanded entrances to Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School and Deauville Gardens East, and security upgrades are also included in Proposition 1.


Proposition 2: For a net cost to taxpayers of approximately $4,323,485, the district will be able to implement $15,138,254 worth of repairs and renovations to our district schools. If community residents approve Proposition 2, the cost for the average household will be approximately $46.43 per year, or approximately 13¢ per day. It is important to note that Proposition 2 is dependent upon the passage of Proposition 1. Proposition 2 includes additional repairs and renovations to windows, sidewalks, ceilings, lighting, flooring, plumbing, heating, and interior and exterior doors; bathroom renovations; replacement of high school gymnasium bleachers; natural field restoration at the middle school; middle school auditorium renovations; and masonry repairs, including sidewalks.


            For additional information, visit the district’s website at The Board of Education is also planning to host building tours and meetings, during which the details of the proposed bond will be presented. Please save the date and remember to vote on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.


Student Musicians Hit the Right Note

 Copiague All-StateCopiague All-County: (Front row left-right) Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Choral Director Gina Occhiogross, students Kishaar Hodge, Erik Sattler, Gabrielle Dattolo, Richard Taveras, Victoria Grinthal, Coordinator of Fine Jennifer Pierre-Louis. (Back row left-right) students Kassandra Hanson, Alexandra Urban, Luke James, Johan Corona, David Grinthal and Lesly Decastro.
Copiague All-CountyCopiague All-State: (Front row left-right) Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Choral Director Gina Occhiogross, students Kishaar Hodge, Erik Sattler, Richard Taveras and Coordinator of Fine Arts Jennifer Pierre-Louis. (Back row left-right) students Alexandra Urban, Kassandra Hanson and Tiffany Holland.

 A select group of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School student-musicians will represent their school at the 2015 NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Music Festival and the NYSSMA All-State Festival.

Selection to a NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County music organization is the highest honor in Suffolk County for a junior or senior high school musician. Students will perform in the All-County Concert on the evening of Friday, Nov. 20 at Huntington High School.

Each year, All-State musicians are selected from a pool of the finest high school musicians in New York State. This selection is extremely competitive and based upon a student’s superior score for NYSSMA solo auditions. All-State student ensembles will travel to Rochester, New York, to perform at the NYSSMA Winter Conference from Dec. 3 to 6.

Blooming with Kindness

Blooming with KindnessIn honor of childhood cancer awareness month, members of the Copiague Middle School student council wore yellow and gold and created flower pens to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charity for childhood

Copiague Kiwanis-Key Club Clean Up

Key ClubOn Saturday, Sept. 26, members of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Key Club and the Copiague Kiwanis Club worked cooperatively to clean up the area near Tanner Park.


Curriculum Cranium Challenge

Brain ShowStudents at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School participated in the interactive educational program “The Brain Show”

Students at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School in the Copiague School District put their knowledge of curriculum-based concepts to the test during a PTA-sponsored educational program called “The Brain Show.”

During the hour-long interactive program, students were selected by the program’s host to work in teams to answer age-appropriate trivia questions that were provided by their classroom teachers. As part of the show, the host also taught students short choreographed routines to current popular songs. Following a correctly answered question, teams and audience members were instructed to show off their new dance moves to celebrate. The winning team of each round received a medal.

While promoting learning and teamwork in an educational platform, “The Brain Show” offers an authentic look and feel of a live TV game show, complete with colorful podiums that feature computerized lights and sounds.


‘Art’iculating a Message of Awareness

Knights of ColumbusWalter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Fine Arts Coordinator Jennifer Pierre-Louis, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon, members of the Copiague Board of Education and Knights of Columbus with the Knights of Columbus Poster Contest winner Nataly Almanzar.

Nataly Almanzar, a ninth-grade student at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, has been awarded the state prize in the 12-14 age group for her poster submission into the Knights of Columbus-sponsored Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness Poster Contest.

The purpose of the contest is to promote local awareness among adolescents of the major societal problems of alcohol and drug abuse, and to generate ideas nationally and internationally for the Knights of Columbus substance abuse awareness posters and literature. As a state winner, Almanzar will advance in the contest by competing at the national level.

At the Copiague Board of Education business meeting on Sept. 21, members of Knights of Columbus presented Almanzar with a plaque and a $100 cash prize.

Enthusiastic About Education


GNR Spirit1Students and faculty at Great Neck Road Elementary School worked together to pass hula-hoops around the circle while their hands remained interlocked.

In an effort to excite students about learning while reinforcing character education, Great Neck Road Elementary School in the Copiague School District hosted an Educational Pep Rally Week from Sept. 17-24.

Each day, students and staff participated in activities that commemorated education and promoted school and community pride. As part of the program, Principal Karla Cangelosi met with each GNR student to discuss a personal goal he or she would like to achieve by the end of the school year.

A school wide team-building activity allowed faculty and students to practice teamwork, trust and cooperation. As a class, students worked together to pass a hula-hoop around in a circle while keeping their hands interlocked. Students and staff in the entire school were then instructed to join hands while more than 70 hula-hoops were passed around the circle.

Other highlights from the week included a PTA-sponsored motivational media pep rally assembly, blue and white day, read-a-shirt day, and special a performance by members of the GNR faculty.

“We host educational pep rally week to promote teamwork, positive education, good behavior and to build a sense of community in our school, “ said Mrs. Cangelosi.